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Exploitation of Natural Products


Admission requirements

The course is open for all students that are enrolled in the minor Molecular Biotechnology.

Contact information

Coordinator: Dr. Y.H. Choi Email:


All living organisms synthesize small compounds (metabolites) that play important roles in functioning of the organism in its environment. For instance, plants produce alkaloids that act as inhibitors of insect herbivory, whereas bacteria and fungi produce antibiotics to prevent growth of competitors. Many of these compounds are interesting from a biotechnological point-of-view and can be used to develop, amongst others, (novel) medicines, fragrances, flavours, and stimulants (e.g. caffeine, nicotine).

Learning goals

Course objectives:
During this course, the students will learn about several aspects of natural products from different sources (fungi, bacteria, plants, animals, marine organisms), including their nomenclature, synthesis, methods for their isolation and characterisation, ecological function, and specific applications e.g. to improve human health.

Final qualifications:
Students have gained knowledge about several aspects of important metabolites from different sources including their synthesis, methods for their isolation and characterisation, ecological function, and specific applications. Students have gained experience in preparing their presentations about specific natural products and their related applications , and in giving an oral presentation in English language.


Four-week course from 31 August 2020 to 25 September 2020. A detailed time table will be published on Brightspace.

Mode of instruction

Staff lectures, student presentations, practical, self study

Assessment method

Evaluation of individual oral presentation and intermediate and final written exams. The final grade consists of the following partical grades:

  • written exam 40%, minimum grade: 5,6

  • presentation 30%, minimum grade: 6,0

  • attendance 30%, attendence should be minimally 80%.

Inspection and feedback on the examination

September 23rd, 2020 at 10:15 till 11:00.


Announcements, course information and course material will be communicated via Brightspace.

Reading list

Course material will be supplied by the lecturers.


Register for this course via Usis and enroll in Brightspace.

Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Prospective students website for information on how to apply.